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Export expansion, skill acquisition and industry specialization: evidence from china

Bingjing Li

Journal of International Economics, 2018, vol. 114, issue C, 346-361

Abstract: This paper studies the impact of export expansion due to the decline in tariffs faced by exporters on human capital accumulation across China. Following a theoretically consistent approach, I construct regional measures of high- and low-skill export demand shocks using the variation in initial industry composition across regions and differential skill intensities across industries. Using a sub-national data over the period 1990 to 2005, the empirical analysis shows that high-skill export shocks raise both high school and college enrollments, while low-skill export shocks depress both. These relationships appear to be attributable to the association between skill premium and skill demand embodied in export shocks. The amplified differences in skill abundance across regions reinforce the initial industry specialization patterns. These findings suggest a mutually reinforcing relationship between regional industry specialization and skill formation.

Keywords: Export expansion; human capital; industry composition; skill supply (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F14 F16 J23 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2018.07.009

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